Recommended: Digibro on Makoto Shinkai

A Youtube reviewer who goes by Digibro has this fascinating – if long – analysis of Makoto Shinkai, the director behind the absolutely wonderful film “Your Name”. I encourage everyone to give it a look if they like watching these sorts of things.

Let me be clear – “Your Name” is a great movie. I re-watched its dub yesterday, and despite spotting more plot holes I if anything gained more respect at the tremendous skill of the direction and the unique way the story was told. It’s not perfect, but so what? Very good is still very good, after all. It’s an A instead of an A+. Whatever.

Shinkai’s career is rather fascinating. The gist of it seems to be is that this is a guy with very little experience in the field who decided one day he was going to make a short film, on his own. Anybody who knows anything about animation knows that making a 25 minute film entirely on your own is absolutely insane.

And then it blew up. It wasn’t a great film but it was a very interesting one with a strong and unique perspective – probably Shinkai’s biggest strength.

Then the company that posted the short film decided it was going to make a movie, and because Shinkai’s film went viral he was picked as the director. And so he was thrown into the fire with almost no experience at all and all eyes on him.

His early movies weren’t great, but again, they were INTERESTING, and most importantly Shinkai improved markedly and noticeably every single film (though why people like “5 Centimeters per Second” is beyond me).

I like Shinkai. He lucked out, but if you look at any sort of interviews with him it’s very clear that he knows this. He hates being compared to Miyazaki and over and over he’ll talk about how insane it is that he made it so far so fast. He’s clearly uncomfortable with all of the praise for “Your Name”. And he’s not coasting! He’s improving!

The fact that he managed to make his way here almost entirely outside of the typical anime system – which is VERY different from Miyazaki, who had a relatively traditional path to becoming top dog – I think is what helps him keep sch a unique perspective on things. I am very interested in seeing what he decides to do next, and intend to follow him closely from now on.